Scripture Reading: Romans 10:5-15
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ –Romans 10:14-15
There is a big difference between bringing good news and assaulting people with my personal beliefs. Working together with diverse viewpoints to find the best way to the Common Good is not the same as working to legislate my perception of morality for everyone. Religious freedom is not the same as religious privilege.
As I walked through the ruins of Ephesus, I could almost feel Paul’s presence. Our guide indicated a worn pillar standing in front of the ruins of a building. He explained that the writings circling the pillar were the names of the elites who followed one of the many gods worshipped by the Ephesians. Not included were any names of people who followed Jesus Christ. Following Jesus Christ was the reason for their names’ exclusion. The guide suggested that perhaps the experience of facing such cultural scorn was the reason the writer of Revelation made reassuring references to the names of followers of Christ written in the book of life.
Followers of Christ do not present an accurate picture of him when we use oppressive techniques or assume elitist attitudes. We make him appear like the idols of old for whom we have such disdain. The truth is we can do nothing to improve or protect God or Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. God is omnipotent—all-powerful, omnificent—unlimited, omnipresent—always present. We need to let God be God and work with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength to share the good news that God loves us—all of us and wants us to love one another.
Prayer: God of Love, help us follow the teaching of St. Francis of Assisi who said Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words. Let our love reflect your good news. Amen.